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Article Details

Importance of registration in KSA

by Expatguru - 03/28/2013

"This article describes the process of registration in Saudi Arabia and its importance for expatriates planning to work in the kingdom."

Most countries have standard procedures for their citizens traveling abroad. Probably one of the very important procedures which is mostly overlooked by expats, is to register themselves with their countries' embassies. This is a simple process and would hardly take a few minutes, but its importance is not well understood.

The purpose of this registration is multi-fold. Registration helps your embassy to easily locate you and keep you informed about important updates. You would receive regular emails and in certain special circumstances, even phone calls from your embassy if the situation so warrants. If you land yourself into an emergency, the data you provided in the registration form would come in very handy. Let's say you lost your Iqama or passport or your have landed yourself into an emergency. In situations such as these, the registration form retrieves all your information. Not only does it help your embassy, it also assists the Saudi authorities in tracing lost documents / issuing fresh ones and helping you out.

I have personally witnessed the utility of this registration when a British colleague of mine suddenly died of a massive heart attack, and the embassy quickly swung into action to complete the formalities, including contacting his family back home, by using the details he had registered with them. The registration form was also extensively used by several embassies during the Gulf war for keeping their nationals regularly updated For US citizens, the form is now renamed as STEP, an acronym for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Apart from receiving advisories from your embassy, registration also helps you in other ways. In situations where your family members back home cannot contact you and want to convey very important and urgent messages, registering your details with your embassy would be so useful.

US citizens can register themselves by clicking on this link ( while Canadians can do so through this link (

Registering your details with your embassy is very important, but not mandatory, which is probably a reason why many people do not pay much attention to this. However, there are a lot of mandatory registrations within the kingdom. When you want to open a bank account or transfer your earnings through banks or money exchanges, you need to register your details with them by submitting a photocopy of your iqama (work permit) with your sponsor's stamp. Also, each time you renew your iqama, you need to re-register your details with the bank, otherwise you would not be able to remit your earnings. Registration is also important and mandatory while applying for a driving license, buying or selling your car, for taking a car on rent or for even buying a SIM card for the first time. In all these cases, you need to submit a photocopy of your iqama, which is the most important document used to verify your credentials. You also need to register during periodic vehicle inspections (known as MVPI).

Finally, you also need to register your details when applying for a family visa.

All of these registration processes is meant to establish your identity and to help you. You must view registration as a process which is intended to assist you, so please give utmost importance to this procedure.


(4 Votes)

Views: 52872

14 comment(s)

Angela Darrity
Thursday 4 April 2013, 7:15 am
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